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What's the best computer related job

Programmer, DBA, Management, Helpdesk...

What do you think is the best and why.  Relate working conditions, salary, benifits, whatever.

ryan
Friday, July 19, 2002

The one you enjoy doing, life is too short to work a job you hate doing. I always liked the advice if you love what you do the money will follow.

Gerald
Friday, July 19, 2002

Company.  Not position.  Google's chef has a more fun job than many programmers I know.  A great company's hell desk can be better than another's DB admin position.

anon
Friday, July 19, 2002

"hell desk"

funny
:)

apw
Friday, July 19, 2002

entrepreneur

"asset"
Friday, July 19, 2002

>Programmer, DBA, Management, Helpdesk...

Ive been a programmer for almost 8 years now professionally, and I have to agree that it all has to do with what company you are working for. I can work for much less salary and benefits, given I feel that the work environment and colleauges are good and talented.

If the stuff I am working on, and the environment motivates me, thats enough (within limits ofcourse, I still have my cost of living, mortgage etc...). But now Im working mostly for a good pay check, doing Oracle stuff. Not very challenging, but it pays the bills.

Patrik
Friday, July 19, 2002

So I guess you can say Im now practicing the oldest job there is ;-)

Patrik
Friday, July 19, 2002

Well, whatever you do, avoid testing and quality assurance -- a lot of pressure, they're pretty thankless, unappreciated, and often highly frustrating. You also end up paying for the corners that folks upstream of you may cut, and that effort piles up fast.

Being a developer includes a lot of pressure and frustrations as well, of course. But at least you're farther up the food chain, get better information, are more highly regarded and appreciated. I'd suggest being a developer is probably the "sweetspot" for the position to have in the software industry (no big surprise there, IMO). I agree with other posters re the importance of other factors - the company, salary, environment, etc.

Before you flame - these are *generalizations*. There are undoubtedly exceptions. Been at this specific game just under 10 years in well over half a dozen organizations, and that's what I've seen. From what I've read/heard from others, the conditions I've described are hardly unusual.

anonQAguy
Tuesday, July 23, 2002

You basically want a job in the core competency of the company you want to work for.  The lines of communication are better, you're more respected and less fireable.

The other possibility, being a scarce and important resource, is bunk.  Great sysadmins fit in this category, but we all know how much love they get.  Anyone who provides a Service sets themselves up to be antagonistic, so politics becomes important.

Sammy
Wednesday, July 24, 2002

RE: Sammy -

well said. just exactly what I was trying to get at recommending, and much more succinctly - thank you.

anonQAguy
Wednesday, July 24, 2002

anonQAguy wrote:
> Well, whatever you do, avoid testing
> and quality assurance -- a lot of
> pressure, they're pretty thankless,
> unappreciated, and often highly
> frustrating.

Again, it depends on where you work. Many (most) software companies treat testing and quality assurance as a not-very-important activity that mostly happens after the software is "done".

It doesn't have to be that way. In an organization that actually cares about quality, testing and development go on at the same time. And you don't staff your QA department with underpaid recent college graduates, who are just marking time until they figure out what they really want to do with their life.

Instead, you hire people who actually care about helping to make really great software, who have degrees in a relevant field, or software development experience of their own.

You invest in test automation, a good bug tracking system, and automated (daily) builds. A good QA team has at least as many people writing code as pushing buttons. If something is worth doing more than once, it's worth scripting so you can do it any time.

And you treat testing and QA with the respect that it deserves. I've had both the good and the bad of the QA gig, and management attitude makes all the difference.

Testing software can be frustrating - or it can be mentally challenging, like a good puzzle. Access to the right information (and the ability to understand it) is pretty critical to turning a hunt in the dark into a skeet shoot.

Good QA jobs are out there, and they're worth having. I'd also say that in my area (Silicon Valley), the attitudes around here about testing have gotten much better over the last ten years or so. Excepting the dot-coms, of course...but they're hardly relevant any more.

-Mark

Mark Bessey
Wednesday, July 24, 2002

I think it depends on your personality. I am a sys admin. My job is stable as indicated in these posts for 2 reasons 1) There is no one else i am an extremely core part of the company so as long as the company is around i am around
2) I dont think any one else would take the abuse

Being a sys admin is extremely diverse. I am lucky enough to also be the only tech in my company so I am help desk/network admin/ every ones wipping girl. ( think thats the job description of sys admin)

I think if you get bored with routine easily then sys admin is for you. But be sure you ahve tonnes of patients and done laugh (to there face ) when some one emails you saying " the whole iternet is down " because they cant load a web page

Krista
Thursday, July 25, 2002

Wiping girl?

Ewwwwwwww.

Dunno Wair
Tuesday, July 30, 2002

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